A 4K/UHD Apple TV is Finally in the Works. Now We Know the Story

· · Editorial

Apple TV driving HDTV

The Apple TV has taken a beating lately. The current model is barely state-of-the art. Companies like Amazon, Netflix and Roku have leapt ahead of Apple in 4K/UHD, leaving the Apple TV in 4th place amongst customers. Now we know why, thanks to a Bloomberg report. The question is, can Apple fix the product and make it a winner again?

Who's More Intelligent, Apple's Siri or Amazon's Alexa?

· · Editorial

Which AI is smarter, Siri or Alexa?

In the battle of virtual personal assistants, Apple and Amazon have strong contenders. Which one is “smarter,” though, Siri or Alexa? Perhaps it’s too early to really call the race, since both personal assistants keep growing and evolving. Be that as it may, Jeff Butts has put both through their paces, and shares his thoughts.

Russians Who Hacked DNC Now Targeting Macs

· · Editorial

Dramatic interpretation of a hacker plying his trade

A Russian group that hacked the Democratic National Committee during last year’s presidential election are now targeting Macs, according to security firm Bitedefender Labs. APT28—also known as Sofacy, Sednit APT, and other names—has been developing malware that targets Macs and gives the Russians remote access to those Macs. Bryan Chaffin has the details.

Apple Posts New iPhone 7 Plus Commercials to Highlight Portrait Camera

· · Editorial

Screenshots from Apple's Soulmate Spot,

Apple has two new commercials out promoting iPhone 7 Plus’s Portrait camera. That’s the two-lens camera unique to iPhone 7 Plus that allows photographs to have a shallow depth of field (meaning a blurry background and sharp foreground). The pieces explain in very simple terms what Portrait mode on iPhone 7 Plus does for a photo.

Apple, Kill the LG UltraFine 5K and Make Your Own Displays

· · Editorial

2019: Year of the Display

As if it weren’t bad enough that the LG UltraFine 5K performed poorly when placed too close to a wireless router, now Apple’s shipping times for the display have slid to five to six weeks. Jeff thinks that it just might be time for Cupertino to resume making the displays for their Macs and MacBook Pros instead of relying on the third-party market to fill the void.

Meet Alo, A Phone Concept From The Future

· · Editorial

Have you ever wondered about a “post-iPhone” future? Well, French designers Jerome Olivet and Philippe Starck have one possible answer. It involves a metal and resin device they call Alo, and it’s meant to be a voice-only smartphone with built-in artificial intelligence.

Apple's Multiple OS Family Used to Be a Good Idea

· · Editorial

The new Microsoft Surface family

When all we had was Mac OS X (now macOS), our Mac life was simple on Intel-based Macs. Then came iOS with Cocoa Touch, a derivative of macOS for touch devices using ARM CPUs. That seemed so very sensible in 2010. Then, of course, came tvOS and watchOS which means Apple has even more code bases to maintain. While perhaps only a mild burden, the biggest problem may be the future development of Apple devices. John explains.

Some People Have Found Coins In Their MacBook [Update]

· & · Editorial

In today’s weird news, apparently some people have found coins hidden inside their MacBook, specifically the optical drive. Is this an engineering tradition of good luck? Or perhaps an error in manufacturing? We dive in to explore the explanations, and apply Occam’s Razor in a show of logic. Updated with comments from Kyle Wiens of iFixIt.

Apple's Product Vision May Be The Cause of Recent Departures

· · Editorial

Vision and roadmap.

There’s been some discussion recently about the father of Swift, Apple’s  Chris Lattner, leaving for Tesla. Why might this be? John Martellaro ponders the connections in his whimsical way and suspects that part of the issue is the Haskell language and Tesla’s interest in secure software. Another element may be that Apple’s product vision is faltering a bit when it comes to inspiring and retaining talent.

Andy Grignon, Former iPhone Radio Engineer, on Building and Launching The First iPhone

· · Editorial

original iPhone in a hand

Andy Grignon worked on many things during his tenure as an engineer at Apple: iChat AV, iSight, Dashboard … and the radios inside the very first iPhone. Andy took to Facebook last night to offer some reflections on that last bit, 10 years after iPhone’s announcement, and has posted them publicly for all to see. We’ve included the text here in our full article just in case you don’t have a Facebook account, but both his post and the comments over there are worth a read. Andy’s a colorful, honest, and reflective cat. Needless to say also quite smart. Enjoy!

The Unspoken Limits of Apple's iPad Are Strangling its Evolution

· · Editorial

iPad Pro & pencil

Like the original 128K Mac, the iPad was conceived as a closed, simple appliance device needing little maintenance. But the original Mac evolved out of its childhood, flourished, and supplanted the Apple II. Today, the iPad is also being strangled by its early vision and limitations.  To supplant the Mac, the iPad has to become not just its equal but dramatically better. John explains.

My 3 Favorite iOS Apps From 2016

· · Editorial

Andrew Orr's Three Favorite Apps from 2016

As 2016 comes to an end, it’s nice to look back and reflect upon the year. I’d like to share my three favorite apps that I’ve used this year, and why I liked them: Cryptomator, RNI Flashback, and Curiosity.

Apple Sued for Not Including Patented Technology in iPhone

· · Editorial

Apple with a big pile of money

Apple is being sued by a family after the tragic loss of their daughters. According to Patently Apple, James and Bethany Modisette have sued Apple for not including a patented technology on iPhones that could keep FaceTime from being used by a driver. Bryan Chaffin believes such lawsuits are philosophically repugnant.

How to Decipher Apple's Conflicting Messaging About Macs

· · Columns & Opinions

iMac and MacBook Pro

Mixed messages are coming out of Cupertino. On one hand, Apple failed to say the things it needed to say about the Mac during a recent Mac event. Now, Tim Cook said he’ll fix that. Meanwhile, the community has spoken with a loud and unmistakable voice that the Mac is not yet dead. Tim Cook seems to have gotten the message, but now we wait for products in 2017 to certify Apple’s change of heart. John analyzes the issues and conflicting messaging.

The NHTSA May Have Required Apple to Open Up Its AI Research

· · Editorial

Autonomous car concept

Right after Apple revealed more of its plans to the U.S. Government regarding its autonomous car project, we learn that Apple is going to break with tradition and start publishing its AI research.  This is an interesting sequence of events.  John speculates on what may have been the cause of Apple’s more open approach.

Why Some High-Profile Hires Don’t Thrive at Apple

· · Editorial

Apple Campus 1 (AC1)

Recently, a high profile executive, Yoky Matsuoka, left Apple for unknown reasons. Often, the temptation is to surmise that a departure of any given executive at Apple is a sign that Apple is losing interest in a particular technology. However, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, certain high-powered people have to leave for personal reasons. Or perhaps they just didn’t realize what they got themselves into and decide that the Apple culture isn’t for them. John explores the various scenarios based on his experience.